UAE's latest out-of-this-world endeavor? Mission to Mars
The UAE’s mission to send a probe to Mars in 2021 will be a giant leap for the entire Arab world, say leading astrophysicists in the UAE.
Astrophysicist Nidhal Guessoum, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Sharjah, said the launch of the space agency and the Mars probe will turn everyone’s attention to space, science, and technology, especially students, in the UAE and the rest of the Arab world.
“The highest objective is to look for life, for example, bacteria or small plants underground. Also important is to look for water, particularly in liquid form. And, more generally, one will want to explore the Martian environment to retrace its history and see how it evolved.”
Guessoum explained that a probe is a space instrument, which can vary in size, complexity, and purpose.
It aims at exploring some space environment, whether a planet, a moon, or the space between them. It will analyze and make measurements of various sorts.
Professor Dr Humaid Majol Al Nuaimi, President of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Science and Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sharjah for Academic Affairs, said the mission will revive the Arab and Islamic world’s legacy in the field of astronomy and space.
“Mars is the topic of the hour, its significance lies in the fact that it’s the closest planet to earth and because of the possibility of life on it, so the UAE endeavours in such a project affects the whole world, especially the Arab world.”
He also said the UAE’s Mars probe can help explore the environment and help search for life on the planet.
Professor Al Nuaimi commended and thanked the UAE leaders on behalf of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Science for the UAE’s endeavor.